This Blog will walk you through the step by step guide on how to cite a YouTube video but first let’s talk about YouTube and how it has changed the way we perceive or use information.
YouTube has a wealth of information. In the old days, one would think of referring to a book, a journal, or newspaper for their academic assignments but now YouTube provides a gamut of information in an easily comprehensible manner.
These easily accessible videos might have a multitude of content and some of them might be objectionable. But you are also sure to find many educational and informative channels on YouTube. Snippets from the evening news, full-length documentaries are some of the useful stuff that YouTube can present you with. However, when you want to cite a YouTube video in your project or blog, you might find it a little difficult to do so.
A range of scholarly subjects contains tons of information but citing a YouTube video might seem a bit daunting. It might look like it is easier to cite a book than a video of YouTube but in reality, the process is simpler than it might seem initially.
In this article, we will cover how to cite YouTube video in 3 different styles which are: APA, MLA, and Chicago style.
How To Cite a YouTube Video?
To cite an online video like the ones on Vimeo or YouTube, one would follow the conventions of any of the 3 citing styles mentioned above. The style you choose depends on the requirements of your assignment.
But before citing a video, it is recommended that you use/ put through as much information as you can so that it is easy for your readers to understand the context. In general, citing a video requires the following information:
- Full name or the screen name of the person who uploaded the video. It could also be the name of the company which uploaded the video.
- Title of the website.
- The publication date of the video.
- Title of the video.
- URL of the video.
Information Needed To Cite A YouTube Video
For citing a YouTube video properly, you might need some extra information over and above the ones mentioned above, they are:
- Duration or length of the video
- Publisher of the video
- Date of posting the video (includes the year, month, and date)
All the needed information is mostly present in video description on YouTube. In case all this information is not readily available then you might need to do some research to find it. For example, if you need the real name of the person who uploaded it you could click on the screen name to look at the creator’s account. In their account, you might find the real name along with contact information in their bio. You would then include the rest of the information in the exact format of the style you choose, following the order of its basic format.
Citing YouTube Videos In MLA Format
The general format or guide on how to cite a Youtube video in MLA format is as follows:
- Last name, First name of the person who uploaded the video
- Or the name of the company that posted the video
- Or the username
- Title of the video
- Title of the website which in this case would be YouTube
- Name of the publisher – This is needed only if the name of the publisher is different from the author
- The date the video was posted
- URL of the video
Example Of MLA Citation Where Author And Uploader Have Different Names:
Beyonce. “Sorry”. YouTube, FanOfBay111, 14 February 2015, www.YouTube.com/xxxxxxHere “xxxxxx” will be replaced by the actual URL of the video you are citing.
Example Of How To Cite a YouTube Video Mla
“Day in the Life”. YouTube, Uploaded by username123, 14 September 2015, www.YouTube.com/xxxxxx
While researching your papers you might also find it helpful to cite quotes within the video, comments by users, or even the entire YouTube account. This can be done with in-text citation rules.
The in-text citation format depends on what information is available to you or whether you have the author’s last name. In case you want to reference specific parts inside a video then in-text citation requires you to mention the exact timestamp in the video when the part you want to cite begins. The timestamp format to be followed is hh:mm:ss.
MLA In-Text Citation When Author Name Is Known:
(Author’s last name, 00:02:16 – 00:03:00)
MLA In-Text Citation When Author Name Is Not Known Or Is The Same As The Person Who Uploaded The Video:
(“Title of video,” 00:02:16 – 00:03:00)
Citing YouTube Videos in APA Format
The general format/ guide on how to for cite a YouTube video in APA format is as follows:
- Last name or name of the account
- First initial of the uploader of the video (screen name)
- Year, month, and date when the video was posted
- Title of the video
- Video website which is YouTube in this case
- URL of the video
Author And Channel Names
For APA citation a few extra rules are there as mentioned below:
- The person or the group who created the video is not always the same as the author of the YouTube video. The APA citation style needs you to mention the uploader of the video as the author. This helps in avoiding any confusion so that it is easy for the reader to locate your video.
- If the real name of the person who uploaded the video is known and it is different from the channel name or the screen name, then APA style needs you to mention both the names. The real name appears in the standard format which is followed by the channel name (this is mentioned within square brackets). The channel name must be an exact match of how it appears on YouTube where you would retain any unconventional capitalization or spacing present in it. An example of such a format is Frederick, A. [themouse]. (2017, November 15). Top 100 albums of 2017 [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/xxxxx. Here “xxxxxx” will be replaced by the actual URL of the video you are citing.
- If you do not know the author’s real name or the uploader is not an individual but a corporate, then you should include only the screen name without brackets. For example – the University of Oxford. (2016, October 13). Could we run the UK on green gas only? [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/xxxxx. Here “xxxxxx” will be replaced by the actual URL of the video you are citing.
- If the channel name is the same as the real author of the video, then it needs to be mentioned only once. An example of that is – Grant, S. (2014, March 17). Beauty [Video file]. Retrieved from https:// youtu.be /xxxxx. Here “xxxxxx” will be replaced by the actual URL of the video you are citing.
In-Text Citation In APA Style
For the in-text citation in APA, you should use the name which appears first in the full citation. It could be the channel name or the real name. Examples of different ways of an in-text citation are:
(Harvard University, 2018).
If you want to refer or quote a specific part of the video, then you must include the timestamp in the hh:mm format of the moment where your relevant part begins. An example would be (Harvard university, 00:28).
How To Cite a YouTube Video In APA Style
Sometimes you would want to cite an entire channel rather than a single video. You might be discussing a channel content in general when you want to cite it. The format of citing the whole channel is basically similar to that of citing a video with some key difference as listed in the guideline below:
- For the date part in the citation, you should enter n.d. which stands for “no date” since YouTube channels do not have any dates.
- You would include the word “Home” in your citation since all the channels on YouTube are called “home” by default.
- If you want to cite a tab on the account like playlists, discussions, videos, channels, about, etc. then you need to replace the word “home” with the appropriate tab name.
- In place of the name of the specific video, you would be required to use the phrase “YouTube Channel” since you are citing the entire channel and not a single video.
Example Of APA Citation For YouTube Channel: University of California. (n.d.). Home [YouTube channel]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/user/California
Example of how to apa cite a youtube video – University of California. (n.d.). Videos [YouTube channel]. Retrieved from
https://www.youtube.com/user/ California /videos
In-Text Citation For YouTube Channel
The format of in-text citation for an entire YouTube channel is: (Last name or the screen name of the YouTube channel’s uploader, n.d.)
Sample – (Frederick, n.d.)
Citing A Direct Quote From YouTube Video In APA Format
Sometimes you might need to refer to a direct quote from a YouTube video in your paper. In this case, the in-text citation would require a timestamp so that readers could easily access the quote you are referring to. One can either enter only the starting time of the moment the quote comes in the video or enter the whole range.
Sample of in-text citation for a direct quote in APA format – (Last Name OR screen name of either the author or the creator of the video, Year, Timestamp 0:00)
Citing YouTube Videos In Chicago Format
The Chicago format requires the following information and format of citation:
- Last name, First name of the person or the company who posted the content.
- “Title of Video.”
- YouTube video,
- The date the video was published
Citation example in Chicago style – QuickCourse. “The Constitution and Federalism: Quick Course in UK History #9.” YouTube video, 12:03. May 11, 2015. https://youtu.be/xxxxx. (Replace xxxxx with the URL of the video you are citing)
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